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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  March 8, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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that he was fired for cause because he wasn't able to perform. >> charlie sheen says he is going to sue over the job that paid him almost $2 million an episode. see you at 6:00. >> couric: tonight, qaddafi makes a surprise appearance in tripoli as his air force takes aim at civilians on the ground. i'm katie couric. also tonight, the big squeeze for commuters. higher gas prices for drivers and budget cuts mean fewer trains and buses. a cbs news investigation-- u.s. guns sold to mexican drug cartels in full view of the a.t.f. now allegations it's gone on longer and involved more weapons than anyone realized. and winning for wes. a team rallies around the
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memory of its fallen star. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. for weeks opposition forces made significant progress in their fight against libya's moammar qaddafi, seizing key cities in the east. but the tide may be turning. today qaddafi's air force fired on the oil town of ras lanuf dozens, many of them civilians, were wounded in the barrage. president obama spoke by phone with british prime minister david cameron. both agree all options are on the table, including the imposition of a no-fly zone to ground libya's air force. qaddafi made a surprise appearance in a tripoli hotel where foreign reporters have been staying and just outside the capital, his voices battled to retake zawiyah from the rebels who have been in control. mark phillips is in tripoli tonight. mark, what's the latest? >> reporter: well, the latest is
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another appearance by moammar qaddafi, this time at the hotel here where all the foreign journalists are gathered and drawing the kind of crush only he can attract. he again said that al qaeda was behind this rebellion, that they had misled libyan youth and he gave no indication at all that he's prepared to give up the brutal battle he's fighting to stay in power. for five straight days, the libyan army has been pounding the town and the people of zawiyah. for five days, the anti-qaddafi rebels there have resisted an increasingly ferocious assault and stayed defiant. >> i hate you, qaddafi! >> reporter: for colonel qaddafi, this pocket of resistance just 30 miles from tripoli is an embarrassment on his doorstep. one that flies in the face of his claim that the rebellion has been brought under control.
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he sent in the most notorious routhless libyan army headed by one of his sons to shoot them down. into the army rolled in there were injured, each time the diminishing number of defenders augmented by some army defectors has somehow rebel it had advance. >> reporter: victory is uncertain and costly. each government attack leaves wounded and dead behind. >> this one is from the army. >> reporter: a reporter from britain's sky news channel has been the only outside witness to the battle. >> and the injured are the attacking soldiers. one of them is still conscious. he's begging for his life now. >> reporter: the man is a tank commander pleading that he was forced to fight on the wrong side. he may have been unlucky. but the rebels are pinned down in zawiyah and elsewhere. their only option is to keep
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fighting. there's been no foreign military help but they are about to get some international economic mussel. the european governments are about to announce they will impose restrictions on libyan government investments there. this adds to the sanctions already in effect on qaddafi family accounts. katie? >> couric: and, mark, do you get the sense that the momentum is swinging in qaddafi's favor now? >> reporter: i don't think you can avoid that conclusion. the rebel forces are stalled where they are in the places they hold along the mediterranean coast to the east, the pockets of resistance in zawiyah and misurata, the two towns closer to tripoli are contained and circled and really being pounded to pieces over the last few days. >> couric: mark phillips in libya tonight, mark, thank you. even though their advance has stalled, rebels still control much of eastern libya. but in several towns today, they faced withering attacks from the air. mandy clark has that part of the
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story. >> reporter: today in ras lanuf qaddafi's warplanes struck a residential neighborhood. the rebels fired back with anti- aircraft guns, but the damage was done. this time, there were no casualties but that's only because the rebels had evacuated all civilians from this area. we're right across the road from the house that was hit by an air strike. another bomb was dropped during that raid. it bounced here and didn't go off and that has left the rebels with the difficult task of getting rid of this extremely dangerous piece of ordnance. with this new wave of bombings, qaddafi has crossed the line, targeting civilians from the air. today that only seemed to enrage the rebels more. "qaddafi you coward, meet us in the battlefield" these men are shouting as they stand in a bomb-blast crater. the rebels are hoping for a no-
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fly zone, but in the meantime this man and his friends want to knock qaddafi's warplanes out of the sky with surface-to-air missiles. "i trained for a couple of days and it's not hard to use it" he told us. the lightly-trained rebels have run into trouble in the last few days. down the road, government forces have retaken the town. state t.v. showed these pictures and this chilling statement by a qaddafi supporter: >> reporter: underlying the message, images of captured rebels face down on the ground. the clearest sign yet that this conflict has reached a dangerous new stage.
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mandy clark, cbs news, ras lanuf libya. >> couric: the trouble in libya has caused the price of gas here to soar. it's now up to an average of $3.52 a gallon. still, that's more than 50 cents less than the all-time high in 2008. back then, a lot of americans turned to mass transit to save money. but as ben tracy reports, commuters are finding a very different ride this time around. >> reporter: this is your 8:25 train? >> yup. >> reporter: okay, we'll hop on with you. >> okay. >> reporter: this morning in pasadena, california, we road the rails with jackie gilberto to downtown los angeles. she ditched her car. when did you finally say i'm done driving my car. >> about three months ago in november when i realized i was spending about $400 a month in gas. >> reporter: the train costs jackie $62 per month and she now has plenty of company.
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rail riders in l.a. is up 8% versus last year. the city says these numbers are because of these numbers. >> here's the receipt: $51.87. that's crazy high. >> reporter: the fact is, the vast majority of americans don't have access to public transportation. they're stuck in their cars and stuck paying high gas prices. 84% of public transit systems have raised fares, cut service or are considering it. cleveland dropped 90 buses from their routes. sacramento slashed 17% of its entire transit system. the problem is that public transportation is not a money maker. what transit riders pay in fares covers just 32% of costs. taxpayers pick up most of the tab. >> public transportation is a public service. you don't expect your police department to pay for itself or your schools to pay for themselves. >> reporter: but the american public transportation association says transit saves money. it contends that going from a two-car household toll a one-car
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household can save on average nearly $10,000 per year. yet there's also this reality. >> it's hard to give up your car. >> reporter: so despite the pain at the pump, traffic congestion is actually getting worse. a report out today shows travel times are up 10% in the past year, likely due to more commuters on the road as the job market improves. >> i will not curtail my driving one bit. >> reporter: jackie won't complain about those who want to drive. there's already enough mass on her transit. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: we have an update on our report on sex abuse by catholic priests in the philadelphia archdiocese. today cardinal justin regali suspended 21 priests who were named as suspects in child molestation cases. walt hunter is with our philadelphia station kyw. walt, i understand this action is unprecedented. >> reporter: katie, a truly historic announcement by the archdiocese today.
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those priests put on administrative leave here, a grand jury report three weeks ago kicking off thes sexual abuse scandal into the headlines and that scandal now growing ever deeper. this was video of monsignor along with three other priests and a lay teacher who were arrested here after the grand jury report some three weeks ago accused in connection with sexual abuse. the catholic archdiocese here led by the cardinal today issuing a statement, by the cardinal that reads in part: "i know that for many people as for 21 priests who have been placed on administrative leave in this historic move, they will be investigated by the archdiocese, a hand-picked panel led by a former prosecutor. obviously as you can tell by some of the raised voices behind me, this is not meeting well or doing well with protestors, they're unhappy that the priests
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retain their anonymity, they don't know more details. in their view it is too little and too late. katie? >> couric: so, walt, how will parishioners be told if their priest is one of the 21 suspended, or will they? >> reporter: well, katie, tomorrow, ash wednesday, is one of the most solemn days in the liturgy of the catholic church and tomorrow in 21 parish churches around the philadelphia archdiocese from the pulpit parishioners will learn that priests in their parish will be removed from their ministry temporarily, put on leave and will no longer be providing spiritual guidance to them in their parishes. katie? >> couric: walt hunter from philadelphia. walt, thanks very much. still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," the charlie sheen show. who's reaping the benefits of his online rants? but up next, federal agents allegedly allowed lethal weapons to reach mexican drug gangs and it may have gone on much longer than anyone knew.
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that cause odors to your dentures. new fixodent cleanser plus scope ingredients. [ ding ] [ in korean ] how may i help you? do you have something for pain? ♪ oh, bayer aspirin? oh, no, no, no... i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. trust me. it works great for pain. [ male announcer ] nothing's proven to relieve pain better than extra strength bayer aspirin. it rushes relief to the site of pain. no matter where you're hurting. feel better? yeah. thanks for the tip. [ male announcer ] for powerful pain relief, use bayer aspirin. >> couric: now to mexico's drug wars and an update of our investigation into a controversial operation in which u.s. agents may have been ordered not to intervene as american guns flow to mexican gangs. investigative correspondent sharyl attkisson who's been reporting on this story has now discovered this may have been going on for many years.
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>> reporter: it's a rare glimpse into a.t.f.'s controversial undercover operations. this photo obtained by cbs news shows an astonishing array of high-powered weapons put on display for buyers from mexican drug cartels. a.t.f. allegedly let gunrunners walk off with weapons-- thousands of them-- to see if they'd end up in the hands of the cartels. the justice department and a.t.f. have denied it ever happened. special agent john doddson works in a.t.f.'s phoenix office and has blown the whistle on the controversial strategy known as "letting guns walk." are there other a.t.f. operations going on that have done the same thing? >> i believe so, yes, ma'am. >> reporter: now multiple sources tell cbs news the questionable tactics were used in more than one operation and date as far back as 2008 in the tucson area. one case was called "wide receiver." sources tell cbs news licensed gun dealers often wanted no part of selling to suspicious
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characters who could be supplying cartels but that a.t.f. enlisted the gun dealers as paid confidential informants and encouraged them to sell even more. a.t.f. has asked me to assist in an official investigation, reads one agreement. gun salesmen closed the deals and a.t.f. watched and listened with recording devices. a.t.f. special agents conducted surveillance and identified the dates and times that the conspirators crossed the international border, says one court document. doddson argues that should never be done. >> because it's... a lot of people that are going to get hurt with those firearms between the time we let them go and the time they're recovered again in a crime. >> reporter: sources tell cbs news these a.t.f. operations involved about 450 weapons and that despite the risk two years later the same strategy was expanded to include thousands of guns. katie? >> couric: sharyl attkisson in washington.
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thank you, sharyl. meanwhile, the 20-year-old female police chief of a mexican border town plagued by drug gangs turned up in texas today asking for political asylum in the u.s. marisol valles garcia was fired after she failed to return to her job when she took a leave of absence. she had faced repeated death threats as police chief. meanwhile, this is international women's day, the 100th anniversary of its first celebration in 1911. in more than half a dozen countries, there were rallies on behalf of women's rights, including one in cairo at the site of last month's massive anti-government protest. and in washington, first lady michelle obama and secretary of state hillary clinton honored ten women from around the world for their work on women's rights sexual harassment issues, and education for girls. coming up next, charlie sheen lost his job, but has he found his calling? he found his calling? is monday... sounds like a to me! and becka's science fair is on the 8th.
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beggars beg, winners win. you're either in my corner or you're with the trolls. >> reporter: it's all setting new highs-- or lows-- in the social media sphere. nearly one million new twitter followers in just one day. well over two million now. >> he's lost his day job. is this another life for charlie sheen? >> a lot of people are thinking that charlie sheen has a huge opportunity to monetize his whole crazy train wreck life on line. he's got the tools at his disposal. he's all ready proven that he's a gigantic twitter and facebook monster. >> reporter: companies hoping to cash in are boarding the train wreck, too. sheen's tweet about needing an intern links directly to this ad from which paid sheen an undisclosed amount for the placement and got more than 300,000 clicks in return. that deal was brokered by a company called adly whose c.e.o. was in an advertising conference in austin today. adly pays up to $10,000 per tweet to celebrities who hawk products.
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>> these are celebrities who have huge scale and huge influence with consumers and social media. that's why brands are lining up to be part of it. >> reporter: even wholesome companies are borrowing his catch phrases "winning" and "tiger blood." mcdonald's tweeted about mcwinning. target tweeted "tiger blood is not yet for sale at their stores and even the venerable red cross tweeted "we may not collect tiger blood but our donors have fierce passion." asn't there a risk for companies to be attached to charlie sheen? >> there is a risk. if charlie sheen continues to be thought of in this crazy way, that's the association stuck to >> reporter: now even the sheen marketing sheen machine is being mocked. here by jimmy fallon. >> winning! >> reporter: we don't know what to make all of this but sheen hopes it will keep making him a little money. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and up next, playing the game of their lives to honor a fallen teammate.
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acrobatic moves. next on cbs 5 a new weapon to fight the flu. how the germ bullet works... at >> couric: today marks two
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months since the attempted assassination of congresswoman gabrielle giffords and her doctors say her recovery continues to be remarkable. they say there's a good chance giffords will be able to attend her husband's space shuttle launch in florida next month. mark kelly will command "endeavour" on its final mission. we end tonight in michigan with the basketball team on a mission. the fenville high black hawks were pallbearers today at the funeral of wes leonard, the star player who died on the court last week. as dean reynolds tells us, he's still inspiring his team. >> reporter: teammates of the boy who wasn't there took the floor last night, his name and number on their jerseys and his memory in their hearts. it was just five days ago that 16-year-old wes leonard made the winning shot and then collapsed on the floor, dying two hours later. his death and his funeral today have left many here emotionally devastated.
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>> you question everything and why it happened and everyone's just searching for reasons right now. >> reporter: wes had an undetected abnormality-- an enlarged heart that triggered a sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death among young athletes. it happens about 20 times a year among sports playing teenagers. an echocardiogram might have picked up the problem, but the condition is rare enough that even the american college of cardiology recommended against mandatory testing in a report just yesterday. >> we'd be screening a large number of students every year and it was felt that it was not a cost-effective way of screening these particular children. >> reporter: monday night's contest went on as countless others have before. it was moved to a larger college field house where every one of the 3,500 seats was filled. wes leonard's 13-year-old brother led the team into the arena and his parents somehow found the strength to be there, too.
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>> we know that wes is with us here, too. please join us in a moment of silence in memory of our wes leonard. >> each team wanted to win the game, of course, but the final score was not all that important. what happened here tonight was bigger than a game. fenville won but here compassion beat competition. among the fans, the players and the coaches... >> anything you need, come to me i will be there. >> reporter: ...there was a simple human desire to ease each other's pain-- even as they all learned a hard lesson on how precious life truly is. dean reynolds, cbs news, holland michigan. >> couric: so sad. good luck to the black hawks in their next playoff game tomorrow. that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. see you back here tomorrow.
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good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh the heist even spicier? the "lambo" belongs to t-v's hottest chef. found in a bay a into thin air with a car. it belongs to t.v.'s hottest chef. found in a bay area dog park poisoned and a death threat. the warning going out to pet owners tonight. and an attempted kidnapping that turned into a barroom shootout. now we have the video. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm juliette goodrich in for dana king. cbs5 learned a celebrity chef has become a crime victim. his very expensive car stolen and in very daring and dramatic fashion. don knapp shows us how the criminals pued


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